If you build it they will come. Famous words in another context but it works for idea management systems as well. Companies who want to embrace innovation worry when they realize they need a collaborative tool for the front end of innovation that their people won’t use it. “How will we get folks engaged? What if they just submit crazy stuff, lose their focus on work and just waste time?” If you build it, your teams will show up, collaborate and produce great things. Here are the top reasons why….
1. The most innovative and productive people operate most effectively when they’re clustered…when they have a place to show up and work together. Benefits emerge. Groups grow more specialized, competition intensifies and networks spring up. It encourages entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and risk taking. I base this opinion on the fact of US migration into the cities. That’s where the good jobs are. Your collaborative system is where the innovation is happening and people will flock to reside there. Motivated and talented people want to be part of your new idea management system…that’s were the most exciting action is happening.
2. When teams arrive at an obstacle they invite those from their network whom they believe might have a shared interest. It is human nature to reach out to the tribe and ask for help. People want to assemble into reliable groups. Smart people will want to comment when they see their peers voice their opinions. They invite the naysayers to pick the best ideas apart, pointing at the holes in others logic; they invite calculating minds to apply mathematical analysis to creative thoughts; they invite creative minds to analytical studies. The collaborative process begs for more collaboration. Your best people will invite into the conversation the other best people whom they rely on; who they interact with. You end up with organizational engagement.
3. If you empower your people by encouraging them to participate; give them a challenge, they will take that assigned confidence and start outperforming. People rise to the occasion. If you provide a culture where innovators are recognized as leaders, your most innovative people will wear the mantle of success by consistently solving the hardest problems; by stepping up to the strategically guided challenges you put in front of them. Women have been in the workplace for a long time. They no longer lack confidence; they act decisively. So too innovators. If their charter relies on their performance, their reflected confidence will bear fruit.
4. Of course you need to reach them where they live. So links imbedded in their emails inviting them to participate will have them landing in the right place. Encouraging them to follow the twitter accounts and hash tags of both thought leaders and active users will alert smart people that the action is happening and they can be a part of it by clicking on the link. They’ll then get to the idea system.
5. Early adopters are anxious to try out new technologies by definition. Your idea system will have those types flocking to the new collaborative environment. The idea system will organically grow as they invite other interested parties whom they know because they tend to hang around like minded folks.
6. The idea systems persuasive design will lead the collaborators to click on what is required. Guided persuasion will make apparent where their eyes and clicking fingers should go, leading to action. “Take the Challenge!” “Give us your ideas”. “Invite someone on your team”. “Follow this discussion”. “Find a domain expert”. The idea management system will observe contributor’s behaviors and based on their activity can recommend potential collaborators when any given topic arises.
There are many organizations just starting to embrace innovation. There are newly designated Chief Innovation Officers. They’re asking themselves, “How do I get this culture of innovation we so strongly desire to become enmeshed into the organization’s behaviors?” An inexpensive yet surprisingly simple step is to provide a backbone for the culture of innovation, a place for all the smart people to show up and work together. If you build the idea management system people will collaborate and great ideas will be the result.
If you build it (an idea management system)…they will come.
Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation management system. You can learn more about CogniStreamer here http://bit.ly/ac3x60
Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here) http://bit.ly/dvsYWD . He has written extensively on Idea Management (Read Here) http://bit.ly/b2ZEgU . If you search on “Shulkin” here at the FEI blog web site, you’ll find numerous entries on idea management systems.
CogniStreamer® is used as the backbone for many companies’ culture of innovation. It is the idea collaborative tool to generate ideas. CogniStreamer is both an innovation knowledge management and idea management software tool, available both SaaS and behind clients’ firewalls. It is an open innovation and collaboration platform where internal colleagues and external partner companies or knowledge centers join forces to create, develop and assess innovative ideas within strategically selected areas. The CogniStreamer® portal is an ideal collaborative platform that invites users to actively build a strong innovation portfolio. In addition it provides a powerful resource for internal and external knowledge sharing. The CogniStreamer® framework is used by industry leaders such as Atlas Copco, Bekaert, BPost, Case New Holland, Cytec, Imec, Picanol and ThyssenKrupp. CogniStreamer® represents the best use of adaptive collaborative technology such to harness human skill, ingenuity and intelligence. Plus it supported by a team of experts who have built best practices and lend guidance based on practical experience.